Thanks to a provision in his EMI contract that's now been newly revealed to the public, Kanye West is not allowed to retire.
According to The Hollywood Reporter, Kanye’s contract states:
‘You (Mr West) hereby represent and warrant that to [EMI] that You will, throughout the Term as extended by this Modification, remain actively involved in writing, recording and producing Compositions and Major Label Albums, as Your principal occupation.
The 41-year-old signed a publishing deal with the company in 2003, which means that they control the rights to his hit songs, including Gold Digger, All Of The Lights and Stronger, to name just a few. And while it seems ridiculous West can’t retire from making music when he wants, the rapper is hoping a California legal statute will help him get out of his publishing deal with EMI.
In his lawsuit, Kanye West reportedly argues that he signed a ‘lopsided’ contract with EMI while recording his iconic debut album The College Dropout and has been ‘labouring’ for them since 2003 (16 years), which puts him well beyond the seven-year service limit. But the company has, of course, argued otherwise, as EMI are said to have added new clauses to the agreement following the success of his debut album.
It’s said that Kanye has also filed a lawsuit against Roc-A-Fella records, UMG Recordings, Def Jam and Bravado International Group, and wants to be granted ownership of all the music he’s recorded and released since 2010.
The Hollywood Reporter reports:
“West seeks to ‘obtain his freedom’ from publishing and record contracts, and as the basis for doing so, he cites California Labor Code section 2855, which limits personal service contracts to no more than seven years. It’s the law that famously provided Gone with the Wind actress Olivia de Havilland her freedom from Warner Bros. in the 1940s after the studio repeatedly extended her contract upon suspensions for her refusal to take roles.”
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